The earned income tax credit (EITC) provides a boost to workers, their families and the communities where they live. A tax credit usually means more money in the taxpayer’s pocket.

Many qualified taxpayers don’t claim this credit simply because they don’t know about it. In fact, every year millions of people are newly eligible for EITC because their family or financial situation changed.

Maximum earned income credit amounts tax year 2017:

  • $6,318 with three or more qualifying children
  • $5,616 with two qualifying children
  • $3,400 with one qualifying child
  • $510 with no qualifying children

2017 earned income credit eligibility requirements:

  • Your tax year investment income must be $3,450 or less for the year.
  • Must not file Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income or Form 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.
  • Your total earned income must be at least $1.

Both your earned income and adjusted gross income (AGI) must be no more than:

Filing Status Qualifying Children Claimed
Zero One Two Three or more
Single, Head of Household or Surviving Spouse $15,010  $39,617  $45,007  $48,340
Married Filing Jointly $20,600  $45,207  $50,597  $53,930

Additional rules may affect eligibility for the credit. Check IRS.gov for details (available in multiple languages).

Help spread the word. In January 2018 the IRS kicked off a campaign pleading for help to inform eligible taxpayers about the earned income credit. They’re asking for anyone who knows someone that might be eligible to help get the word out.


Important: This post is intended to be educational only and should not be relied upon as tax advice. Everyone’s tax situation is unique and you should consult an expert tax preparer if you are unsure how the items above relate to you.

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